I have never been married, but if I were going to get married, here are some questions I would be asking the potential photographer. Besides the obvious such as loving the photographs you see online, it is important to know and be confident in your wedding photographers ability, professionalism and preparedness for anything they may encounter. Besides loving their wedding photos, it is also important to look through their entire portfolio (besides wedding photography) since wedding photography includes many kinds of photography such as architectural and product-type photography (details of the wedding), photojournalism, candid and portrait photography. I realize that as a professional wedding photographer, equipment doesn’t make beautiful images.. the photographer does.. however, many of my questions I would ask would be technical (many of which you may not fully understand) since they point to the photographers dedication to his/her craft and their ability to capture beautiful wedding photos in challenging and changing conditions.
How long have you been photographing weddings and How did you learn? If you are going to entrust them to capture one of the most important days in your life, it is very important IMO that they have a lot of experience. Wedding photography is easily one of the most demanding forms of photography there is. This is why so many photographers loathe photographing weddings. It is a high-paced environment which requires you to KNOW your equipment inside and out. It requires you to handle an immense amount of pressure (no second chances here), with a huge amount of responsibility. Your photographer should be able to photograph the bride and groom in all kinds of situations from dark churches as they walk out into bright sunny outdoors (seamlessly and on the fly).
Can I see at least 2 or 3 FULL weddings? This is really essential IMO… Posting 2 or 3 photos on a website from a bunch weddings doesn’t give you an honest impression of what you can expect from your wedding photographer. Being able to see all the pictures from 3 or more ENTIRE weddings will give you an idea of how well they can handle the changing conditions and environments (inside, outside, dark, bright, etc..) as well as how many pictures and photographers style in general. When you do meet your potential photographer to review a few weddings, pay particular attention to their indoor pictures and portraits. This will tell you a lot about their ability. Stay away from photographers where their indoor portraits look “flashy”. This would mean really bright on subject with dark background. Being able to balance background and subject lighting will say a lot about a photographer’s abilities.
Check Reviews. I had ALL of my Google reviews taken down when they revamped their layout. That was YEARS of reviews gone in an instant. So it can happen that a wedding photographer may not have online Google reviews. If they don’t have Google reviews, Wedding Wire reviews, or a site with reviews and testimonials, then ask for several past wedding references. This can be tricky, since we don’t want to bother our past clients.. but if a photographer has been doing weddings for a while, he or she should be able to grab at least a few.
Do they have an assistant? I feel an assistant is absolutely necessary for reasons I won’t go into great detail here, but it says something about the photographers willingness to pay someone so that they, – the photographer – can get the best possible images. A photographer without an assistant indicates to me that they are cutting corners – a quality you don’t want from your wedding photographer.
What equipment do you own? They should have a minimum of 3 camera’s (I bring 5 along with 7 lenses, 5 flashes, etc.. ). Three camera’s are essential because your photographer should be using two during your entire wedding (third one for backup in case one malfunctions). But why two cameras for the wedding John? Good lenses don’t have a super long zoom range like many think. Though they are big in size, it is because of the glass and doesn’t mean anything as far as their zoom range. A typical wedding photographer should have a 24-70mm 2.8 (or something similar like a 17-30mm 2.8 or 17-50mm 2.8, etc..) as well as a long telephoto lens such as a (70-200mm 2.8). The wide zoom is for capturing the environment, groups, etc.. the longer one is for portraits and covering distances, portraits, etc… All lenses should have a maximum aperture of 2.8 or wider. In other wards take the Canon 70-200mm 2.8 L for example. 70-200mm is the zoom range. 2.8 is the maximum aperture. Aperture is how much light the lens lets in. It should be 2.8 or lower (1.8, 1.2, etc…). Why is this important? Because not only is it considered the minimum for portraiture, but it is also ESSENTIAL for low light situations. The lower the number (2.8 lets in less light than 2.0 which lets in less light than 1.2…etc.. ) the greater the amount of light it will let into the camera and greater ability to photograph in darker situations (not sunlight). There are a host of other reasons, but these are the most important.Another thing to look for is do they own and use prime lenses? Prime lenses are fixed focal length lenses such as 85mm 1.2 or 50mm 1.2 or 35mm 1.4 (I own all three). Like I mentioned above, it creates more beautiful portraiture and is essential for low light situations which are common for weddings. It isn’t absolutely essential, but it does say a lot about their preparedness. I can’t image photographing weddings without using them… especially in dim lit churches and receptions. They also produce stunning images.IMO, if they don’t own these things, it indicates to me, that they are may not serious about wedding photography or at the very least, prepared.
Do you use a crop sensor or full frame sensor camera? I personally would not want a photographer photographing my wedding if they primarily were using a crop sensor camera. It should be Full Frame Sensor. Why? Because the pictures are simply better in quality (bigger sensor = more area for more information to be collected). Particularly in dim lit situations such as indoor ceremony and reception. There is no reason to be using a crop sensor camera for a wedding IMO. The image quality is less and again it points to the photographers dedication or lack-there-of, towards capturing the best, highest quality photographs.Let me emphasize that MORE Megapixels (MP) do not matter!! That is right! There is this myth being propagated by some camera manufacturers that more megapixels produce better images. This is simply not true. Not only is it not true, but in many cases it actually deteriorates the image quality. Cramming more megapixels into a small sensor destroys the sharpness and the camera’s image quality when photographing in low light and high ISO’s.For instance the Canon 40D has 10.1 megapixels and the newer Canon 7D has 18 megapixels. The 40 D produces sharper images and has less noise (like grain in film) than the much newer, much more expensive 7D. I would take the 40D over the 7D any day of the week.For more information regarding the Megapixel Myth, click on the following link;
I hope this helps you narrow down your search when looking for a wedding photographer.